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‘Startled pig’ hinders water pipe repairs and causes train disruption

13 November 2019

A “startled pig” confronted engineers as they repaired a burst water main in London, before it was coaxed away with a bag of crisps.

The pipe burst in Lamberts Road, Surbiton, damaging nearby railway equipment, which caused train delays.

Thames Water said the valve to cut the water was in a field occupied by a pet pig called Pickle and engineers were concerned about disturbing it.

It is not known what flavour crisps were used to entice the pig away.

Damage caused by the flooding of tracks and signalling equipment meant limited trains were able to run along the line.

Network Rail said engineers had inspected the railway embankment and all tracks have been reopened.

Thames Water said engineers “were quickly on site” to deal with the burst 120cm (48in) pipe, but they had been unable to initially carry out the work because of Pickle’s reaction.

A spokesperson said the animal “wasn’t particularly angry or aggressive” but “startled that we were in his field”.

вљ пёЏ *UPDATE 13/11* Due to a burst water main near the railway between Surbiton and Wimbledon some lines towards London are blocked. Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 16:00. https://t.co/imkvCCw8tA pic.twitter.com/NNXEfyuCq3

Earlier reports said the animal was “acting aggressively”.

The pet was coaxed away “to make sure both he and our engineers would stay safe”, they added.

The animal, which confronted engineers in Surbiton, was finally led away with "a packet of crisps".